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Aviation Weather Service Outlets

in Aviation Weather Services

Service outlets are government or private facilities that provide aviation weather services. Several different government agencies, including the FAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the NWS work in conjunction with private aviation companies to provide different means of accessing weather information.

Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS)

The AFSS is the primary source for preflight weather information. A preflight weather briefing from an AFSS can be obtained 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-WX BRIEF from almost anywhere in the United States. In areas not served by an AFSS, NWS facilities may provide pilot weather briefings. Telephone numbers for NWS facilities and additional numbers for AFSS can be found in the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) or in the United States Government section of the telephone book.

The AFSS also provides inflight weather briefing services, as well as scheduled and unscheduled weather broadcasts. An AFSS may also furnish weather advisories to flights within the AFSS region of authority.

Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS)

The Transcribed Information Briefing Service (TIBS) is a service prepared and disseminated by selected AFSS. It provides continuous telephone recordings of meteorological and aeronautical information. Specifically, TIBS provides area and route briefings, airspace procedures, and special announcements. It is designed to be a preliminary briefing tool and is not intended to replace a standard briefing from a FSS specialist. The TIBS service is available 24 hours a day and is updated when conditions change, but it can only be accessed by a touchtone phone. The phone numbers for the TIBS service are listed in the A/FD.

Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS)

The Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS), which is funded by the FAA, allows any pilot with a current medical certificate to access weather information and file a flight plan via computer. Two methods of access are available to connect with DUATS. The first is via the Internet at http://www.duats.com. The second method requires a modem and a communications program supplied by a DUATS provider. To access the weather information and file a flight plan by this method, pilots use a toll free telephone number to connect the user’s computer directly to the DUATS computer. The current vendors of DUATS service and the associated phone numbers are listed in Chapter 7, Safety of Flight, of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).

En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS)

A service specifically designed to provide timely en route weather information upon pilot request is known as the en route flight advisory service (EFAS), or Flight Watch. EFAS provides a pilot with weather advisories tailored to the type of flight, route, and cruising altitude. EFAS can be one of the best sources for current weather information along the route of flight.

A pilot can usually contact an EFAS specialist from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. anywhere in the conterminous United States and Puerto Rico. The common EFAS frequency, 122.0 MHz, is established for pilots of aircraft flying between 5,000 feet above ground level (AGL) and 17,500 feet mean sea level (MSL).

Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory (HIWAS)

Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory (HIWAS) is a national program for broadcasting hazardous weather information continuously over selected navigation aids (NAVAIDs). The broadcasts include advisories such as AIRMETS, SIGMETS, convective SIGMETS, and urgent PIREPs. These broadcasts are only a summary of the information, and pilots should contact a FSS or EFAS for detailed information. NAVAIDs that have HIWAS capability are depicted on sectional charts with an “H” in the upper right corner of the identification box. [Figure 12-6]

Figure 12-6. HIWAS availability is shown on sectional chart.

Figure 12-6. HIWAS availability is shown on sectional chart.

Transcribed Weather Broadcast (TWEB) (Alaska Only)

Equipment is provided in Alaska by which meteorological and aeronautical data are recorded on tapes and broadcast continuously over selected low or medium frequency (L/MF) and very high frequency (VHF) omnidirectional radio range navigation system (VOR) facilities. Broadcasts are made from a series of individual tape recordings, and changes, as they occur, are transcribed onto the tapes. The information provided varies depending on the type equipment available.

Generally, the broadcast contains a summary of adverse conditions, surface weather observations, PIREPS, and a density altitude statement (if applicable). At the discretion of the broadcast facility, recordings may also include a synopsis, winds aloft forecast, en route and terminal forecast data, and radar reports. At selected locations, telephone access to the TWEB has been provided (TEL-TWEB). Telephone numbers for this service are found in the Supplement Alaska A/FD. These broadcasts are made available primarily for preflight and inflight planning, and as such, should not be considered as a substitute for specialist-provided preflight briefings.

515G+mn0RuL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about aviation weather with Weather Flying by Robert Buck. Regarded as the bible of weather flying, this aviation classic not only continues to make complex weather concepts understandable for even the least experienced of flyers, but has now been updated to cover new advances in technology.



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